A quiet moment at Fort Myers Beach during an artist retreat last year.

A quiet moment at Fort Myers Beach during an artist retreat last year.

“All of us are as bruised reeds, bruised by the cruelty of life and the inhumanity of others; but Jesus heals, restores, and does not condemn us in our weakness. When we are as a smoldering wick, giving off more smoke than light; He does not extinguish us, but refreshes us, giving strength for the journey.” I read this on Yahoo answers.

It reminded me of what the Minister said last week about Psalm 23. God removes, restores, replenishes, and redirects our paths.

I go on artist retreats for that reason. When I allow God to “lead me beside quiet waters” on a daily basis, I realize I can be refreshed each day.

It is difficult when my mind is always racing. It’s something I can’t do in my own strength. That’s why the psalmist says: He leads me…



Guys are usually on the lookout for a “hot babe” during Spring Break. Now, genetically altered male mosquitos will join the hunt in the Florida Keys this spring.

According to New Times, researchers have asked for FDA approval of their plan to release male mosquitos in the Florida Keys. The goal is to kill the female mosquitos that transmit various diseases. Female mosquitos bite humans and males don’t.

However, there is some concern that the plan of dropping millions of the insects into this fragile ecosystem may have unforeseen consequences. Researchers counter that altered mosquitos offspring will die as a result of the defects and will cause no harm.


Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach is the second most popular place to visit in Florida. The Art Deco district is what distinguishes the area.

The Jewish Museum of Florida presents the Purim Ball on Tuesday, February 24 at 6:30 pm at Jungle Island. The Purim Ball pays tribute to Queen Esther who intervened when the Jewish population was facing annihilation nearly 2,600 years ago in Sushan, Persia.

The event features live music, a host of festivities and an auction. It honors prominent Florida Jewish families for their contributions in the development of Jewish life in Florida. Nearly 100 artists painted masks for the event’s Mask Auction. The auction will support the Museum’s exhibits, collections, and public education programs.

Invite for the Florida Jewish Museum's Purim Ball.

Invite for the Florida Jewish Museum’s Purim Ball.

The Museum documents 250 years of Florida Jewish History. The Museum was once the site of the first Jewish Synagogue in Miami Beach.

My favorite the Studio Apartments were designed by Henry Hohauser.

My favorite the Studio Apartments were designed by Henry Hohauser.

There is a strong Jewish legacy in Miami Beach. Barbara Capitman, founder of the Miami Beach Design Preservation League, was Jewish. Capitman is responsible for the Art Deco District being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Henry Hohauser, one of the chief architects of the district, was Jewish. Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant, a popular hangout, was founded by the Weiss family. They were the first Jews to settle in Miami Beach.


I had a strange dream last night. Two men were talking. One said,” Oh, that everyone would be given a job.”


The other man said,” If you gave everyone a job then there would be no benefit to hard work”.


I said,” Yes, I see what you are saying. It’s potential vs opportunity.”


Moral: We only reach our full potential through hard work. A muscle not flexed grows weak.


(I think I’ve been reading too many of Aesop’s fables. LOL!)



Watercolor wash.

Watercolor wash.

I‘ve been a list keeper and goal setter for years. But now I realize this approach was limiting not empowering me. So now I say the plan is there is no plan.

Now that I’ve stop putting limits on my life, God has opened so many doors. It has freed me creatively.

I now randomly throw a of couple watercolors on a sheet of paper and a few days later I decide what I am painting.

Final version, "The Port of Honfluer, France" copyright by Elaine Marie Austin.

Final version, “The Port of Honfluer, France” copyright by Elaine Marie Austin.


Archaic Lessons for Today

Venus de Milo

I saw the world famous Greek sculpture, Venus de Milo when I visited the Louvre in Paris.

Today morality is shunned and the consequences of bad behavior with multiple rights and multiple excuses. This was not the case in days of Aesop. The ancient Greeks had a thirst for knowledge. They loved his fables with moral lessons.

Aesop lived during the Archaic period which is defined through the development of art, specifically the style of pottery and sculpture.

Aesop wrote over 600 fables. While preparing for my art class, I had a chance to read three of them: City Mouse-Country Mouse, The Lion and the Mouse, and Belling of the Cat. Each fable has a valuable lesson that is applicable for today.

Aesop’s life does not have a happy ending like most of his fables. According to ancienthistory.about.com, he was sent by the monarch to Delphi in Greece to distribute a large sum of gold. He was so aggravated by their covetousness, that he sent the money back to his master. The Delphians were so enraged that they executed Aesop.

I guess the ancient Greeks were not so noble after all.

Let’s Party

Life is Art celebrates 6 years of helping the community and artists. With over 80 events to its credit, Life is Art and its sponsors have strengthened the community in Miami with culture. Life is Art will host a celebration fundraiser at the historic Astor Hotel in South Beach on January 31. The evening features live music, food, and entertainment.

The Astor Hotel is an Art Deco hotel with a coral facade. It is a fitting celebration location for the organization that promotes itself as building culture.

Arts in the community are not just buzz words. The arts have proven to rebuild communities like South Beach. Where would South Beach be without its Art Deco Buildings? They are more than just a scenic backdrop. Art Deco is what drives the South Beach economy. South Beach is the number one tourist destination in Miami and the second most visited place in Florida.